NI Health and Social Care Workforce Census - March 2019

Date published: 20 August 2019

The Department of Health today released details of the NI Health and Social Care (HSC) Workforce Census as at 31 March 2019.

HSC workforce census

This statistical publication presents an analysis of staff in post by occupational family, organisation, gender, working pattern and age. Summary information on staff turnover is also included.

The publication covers the majority of HSC hospital, community and social services workforce (66,800 staff in post or 58,246 whole-time equivalent [WTE]). Bank/sessional staff are excluded, as are members of staff on career breaks, Chairpersons/Members of Boards and those recorded with less than 0.03 WTE. Home helps/domiciliary care staff have also been excluded, as their recorded whole-time equivalent currently does not reflect their contribution to the service.

Key Points

  • The Belfast HSC Trust was the largest Trust and the largest HSC Organisation within Northern Ireland, employing 31% of all HSC staff (17,982 WTE) at March 2019.
  • The largest Occupational Family was Nursing, Midwifery and Health Visiting with 19,736 WTE. They represented 34% of the workforce by WTE.
  • The Medical and Dental workforce stood at 4,728 (4,307 WTE). Forty per cent (1,744 WTE) were graded as Consultants.
  • Of all staff, 38% (22,114 WTE) were employed in Agenda for Change Pay Bands 1-4.
  • Seventy-nine per cent of staff were female, and 56% (by headcount) worked full-time.

Notes to editors: 

  1. The publication is published on the Departmental website.
  2. The information was collected from the Human Resources, Payroll, Travel and Subsistence database which is maintained by the various HSC organisations. The analyses presented in the publication exclude bank staff (who fill staffing shortfalls to maintain service delivery). These staff were excluded because, due to the variable nature of their work, their WTE input to the service is difficult to measure. Home helps/domiciliary care staff have also been excluded from this edition, as their recorded whole-time equivalent currently does not reflect their contribution to the service. Figures also exclude staff on career breaks, non-Trust staff and Chairpersons/Members of Boards. Note this publication does not report on General Practitioners and General Dental Practitioners as they are independent contractors rather than employees of HSC organisations.
  3. WTE (Whole Time equivalent) is calculated by aggregating the total number of hours staff in a particular grade are contracted to work and dividing by the standard hours for that grade. In this way, part-time staff are converted into an equivalent number of 'whole-time' staff.
  4. Regional Services includes the following organisations: Business Services Organisation, Public Health Agency, Patient Client Council, Northern Ireland Ambulance Service HSC Trust, Northern Ireland Blood Transfusion Service, Northern Ireland Guardian Ad Litem Agency, Northern Ireland Practice & Education Council, Northern Ireland Social Care Council, Health & Social Care Board, Regulation & Quality Improvement Authority and Northern Ireland Medical & Dental Training Agency.
  5. Additional Information

    Further information on the NI HSC Workforce is available from:
    Workforce Section
    Project Support Analysis Branch
    Department of Health
    Annexe 2, Castle Buildings
    Belfast BT4 3SQ
  6. Telephone: 028 9052 2493
  7. Email:
  8. Internet:
  9. For media enquiries please contact the DoH Press Office 028 9052 0575 or email Out-of-hours please contact the Duty Press Officer on 028 9037 8110.
  10. Follow us on twitter @healthdpt

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